Dual diagnosis rehab programs are vital to helping people with co-occurring disorders because treating the mental health disorder without addressing the substance use problems will not solve the problem, and vice versa. Separate programs or even separate doctors treating mental health and substance use disorders can become problematic and ineffective for patients who need integrated care.
Dual diagnosis is designed to simultaneously treat mental health disorders like depression or anxiety while managing the substance use disorder. Because these conditions often go hand-in-hand, it is critical to treat them as if they were one condition. Many dual diagnosis treatment centers in PA and OH have expanded their programs to provide the best care for individuals facing both conditions.
Often a mental health condition like major depressive disorder or PTSD can lead a person to begin abusing a substance to self-medicate and cope with difficult emotions. As a result, the substance use disorder develops and exacerbates the mental health disorder as the brain is rewired chemically by the substance, rendering mental health treatments ineffective.
If a person who is already progressing from substance abuse to addiction receives treatment for the mental health condition, this will not succeed in stopping the addictive behavior because the person may have already developed a dependence on the substance. This can continue in a cycle in which the addiction and mental health disorder aggravate each other.
Dual diagnosis exists to stop the cycle. When healthcare providers can treat the mental health condition and the substance addiction at the same time, the individual with co-occurring disorders can heal more effectively and work towards recovery.